Research shows that permanent housing is ultimately the most cost-effective approach to addressing homelessness, even in a place like New York City, Berg said. Research on homelessness prevention shows that prevention strategies can reduce homelessness. For example, Pawson's evaluation of prevention strategies in Scotland revealed that rental aid, such as landlord mediation, housing counseling, and family mediation, greatly contributed to reducing evictions. In addition, research shows the effectiveness of discharge planning and transitional supports from mental health hospitals, correctional centers and shelters as strategies for preventing homelessness.
Right To Shower products offer another way to help people in need. During the first year, 100% of profits go directly to NGOs with mobile shower units, such as Lava Mae, a non-profit organization that builds mobile shower units for people who don't have reliable access to their own showers. By providing hygiene opportunities directly to people without shelter, Lava Mae supports the health, warmth and dignity of the most vulnerable among us. It's an important step, no matter the season of the year.
Creating and maintaining a response system for the homeless will help end the crisis effectively, rather than manage it. The most common mental illnesses experienced by homeless people are bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, and anxiety. Similarly, the Framework adapts the public health model to guide the implementation of homelessness prevention. Homelessness prevention strategies include multiple systems and all forms of government, and collaboration between different departments and institutions to address the causes of homelessness.
It's never a good time to lack shelter, but the return of the cold presents particular challenges for the homeless. Completing high school is a factor that contributes to young people becoming homeless or not at some point in their lives. Children and young people who don't earn a high school diploma are 34.6% more likely to be homeless than those with a diploma. For more than two decades, emergency services, in the form of soup kitchens and shelters, have been the dominant response to the homeless.
Ongoing supportive housing programs are designed as a lasting solution to ending homelessness in the community. For the prevention of homelessness to be successful, several sectors must take responsibility and work together. However, to truly prevent homelessness, we need other systems to reach people and support them before they are in crisis. Find out who serves the homeless at ground level in your backyard and familiarize yourself with their locations and the special populations they serve.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds networks of agencies that serve the homeless (called “continuums of care” or COC) in many cities. Federal, state, local and charitable organizations have drawn up a clear road map for resolving the homelessness crisis, but the work has just begun. And, because of historical and systemic racism in housing, employment, and the criminal justice system, black, indigenous and Latino people are significantly overrepresented in the homeless population (PDF). There are many more ways to help the homeless besides donating money on the street, steps you can take to empower organizations that work to help people living on the street in the long term.